Jesse Paul has had a pretty good two years. Actually, Jesse Paul has had a great two years. After having a breakout part in fellow Salomon rider Bode Merrill’s Reckless Abandon and winning TransWorld SNOWboarding’s 2016 Rookie of the Year, his hard work rolled into this past season with an X Games medal and a stack of clips that are being edited as we speak into his Arcadia full part. We haven’t seen all of the clips yet, but if we have come to know anything about Jesse and his riding, his upcoming part in Arcadia will probably leave an impression on the snowboarding world for years to come.
We sat down with the Minnesota-bred ripper to get some answers about his past season filming and talk about the highlights from his sporadic snow-driven trips. Jesse had some interesting answers to say the least. In addition to the interview, check out the bottom of the page for a chance to win Jesse’s kit from this year (a Salomon Huck Knife with District bindings). Enjoy!
What was a normal day filming with this crew... was there a normal day?
The days with these guys always started with a nice long wake up with the morning getting progressively longer as the day went on haha. Get up and just shoot the shit for a while, then look at a bunch of photos and choose a spot or two. During the day, it’s never the same. Sometimes there’s no snow, sometimes it’s an immediate kick out, sometimes it’s a battle, and sometimes it’s an easy clip. That’s what I love about doing this. You never know what to expect.
And what about medaling in X Games Real Snow while filming a full video part? Congrats by the way! How the hell did you do it?
Coffee, ibuprofen, friends, and my chiropractor. I was so motivated during real snow that I got a good amount of footage that didn’t fit, so I had some left over for my part. I also convinced the dudes to use a lot of my Real Snow footage! When the winter started I didn’t want to use any Real Snow footage for TWS, but I was really proud of what I got during it. I think footage has a longer life in a full length video than in Real Snow.
What was the hardest part about doing both in one winter?
Transitioning crews for sure. I always get in kind of a groove filming with the same people in the winter and about half way through I switched filmers and the people I was traveling with. It wasn’t a bad transition, it just kind of threw me for a loop. Different routines, different ways about dealing with trips and spots. It almost felt like I had two seasons in one. It was also tough after the unbelievable stress and pressure from real snow. When it was over I had to force myself to stay motivated.
Who was your crew for most of the winter? Weren't you basically roommates with Jordan Small?
I was for the second half of the winter on trips, but during real snow my crew was usually Colton Morgan, Jordan Morse, and Brady Lem. But yeah, for Transworld it was mostly just me and Jordan riding, which was different than anything else I’ve ever done. It’s a lot easier to get stuff done, except big builds… that became a lot harder.
What was it like riding with all of them?
It was great! All of those dudes are super talented. I love seeing the different process everyone goes through on trips and at spots. Everyone was really supportive too. Things flowed really well because everyone wanted to help everyone else out. It’s just cool to sit back and watch amazing snowboarding happen.
And it was your first time filming in Japan? Did it live up to all that you hoped?
Wow! Japan was incredible. I had so much fun there. We had a great balance of boarding and culture. We ate the craziest food, had a couple tourist days, lived up the night life, and had so much success at spots, which was awesome because I’ve heard horror stories. So yes, I would say so. The only Japan thing we didn’t get to was powder… which I know some powder hounds are shaking their heads right now haha.
What is up with the ‘Fuck Pey’ rumors we heard? Your landlord was pretty peculiar?
Jordan accidentally broke a chair in the Airbnb we were at and Pey (the landlord) made him pay for it, so he just started saying ‘fuck Pey’ and it became a really funny thing because Pey was the nicest, most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met. He would laugh at everything you said, even if it wasn’t funny. We all started saying ‘fuck Pey’ whenever we didn’t land a trick or whenever anything went wrong. Then the climax of our Pey experience happened in the elevator. Pey said he needed to get a haircut because he was starting to look like a girl and Yosh started fake laughing super hard and Pey ate it up. He started laughing SO hard and the two were just exploding back and forth with laughter (Yosh’s fake and Pey’s real) for the whole elevator ride. It was almost scary haha.
And What about Cleveland? After visiting there, do you think Kyrie Irving and Lebron James should stay there to play basketball or leave?
Probably leave… haha no offense to anyone who lives there, but the area we were in wasn’t very pleasant.
Let's do a Cleveland vs. Japan game. Who had better what...
-Food? Japan except after a week everything tasted like fish. Even potato chips…
-Nightlife? JAPAN. We didn’t go out at all in Cleveland and in Japan we were going for the full experience so we sent it every night.
-Abandoned buildings? I’d say this was a tie, but I felt much safer exploring abandoned buildings in Japan.
-Cops? Japan. The cops in Cleveland gave me my first ever trespassing ticket. In Japan it’s easy to play a dumb American.
How did the ticket come about in Cleveland?
I was hitting a ledge off the roof of a school. I hadn’t done too much stuff with that big of a build so that was quite an experience in itself. I also took some really hard slams, but that wasn’t the worst part. We got busted.
The cops were super chill and just told me to get off the roof. They took down our information and said we were good to go. So we all thought, wow, that was a close one. Then later they called me to get some more information from me. They just said “it’s just for the report that’s all”, so I’m still thinking everything’s all good, we just can’t go back. Then a month later a court notice shows up at my door in Utah! Turns out I was charged with criminal trespassing and had to appear in court in a week as a result. After hours of talking to my second cousin who is a lawyer and getting a public defender I was able to boil it down to a $400 fine and get it off my record, but it was a horrible experience overall.
And what about the cops in Ogden?
Best cops around! One day they used dispatch to track down the owner of an abandoned bowling alley so we could jump off the roof. Then for the rest of the week we would see them rolling around and they would just wave and give us a thumbs up! One of them even suggested a building to check out a spot.
You are quite the photographer yourself. Did you take a lot of photos this winter? How did you get into photography?
No. I stepped away from my camera this year because of Real Snow. I wanted to focus all my energy on my riding. Then when Real Snow was over I had a hard time getting in to it. I wish I had gotten some, but my head just wasn’t there. Next season, I promise!
Heard you just moved to L.A.?
My girlfriend Ashley-Dawn wanted to get into the film/production industry and I wanted to try something new. We lived in Salt Lake for a year and it was really fun and cool, but we’re still figuring ourselves out and where we want to be. I really like the energy out here so far and Ashley has been really successful in her field!
How come you don't come to the office more to visit?
I don’t know! haha I should come more often! Can I come this week and skate?
Sure. (editor’s note: Jesse has yet to come back and skate.)
Enter to win Jesse’s board and bindings here:
Paul Rider Week – Arcadia